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5 Steps to a Dyslexia

Friendly Classroom
Kings' LS CPD

Practical
Application
Why not try some of these
ideas out in your own
classroom and, if possible,
leave feedback in the
discussion forum

Presentation of Materials
Dyslexia affects more than just words

What you can do


Some children (not all) with Dyslexia
present with visual stress, and can
struggle to process black text on a
white background. If you have a
student complaining of visual stress
(e.g. words jumping/moving/blurring
on the page) they might benefit from
cream/pastel backgrounds when
using the interactive whiteboard, as
well as in paper-based tasks. Liaise
with the Learning Support team to
trail different paper colours and
overlays, in order to determine
whether this is a suitable
arrangement for your student.
Use Verdana/Arial font, size 12-14,
with 1.5-double line spacing.
Follow this link for further information

Divide the board into sections using different


colours, to ease place finding.
If there is a lot of information, try to bullet point
and alternate colours for each bullet point of text
so that it is visually easy to see each point
separately.
Avoid asking students to copy down large
amounts of text (this is not active learning).
Instead provide them with a copy of your notes,
with key words and key sentences already
highlighted for them. This makes it easier and
speedier when they have to scan the text for
information to answer questions.

Organisation
"Well I just know I left it lying around here somewhere...."

Students with Dyslexia can often struggle to get


themselves organised, or remember the sequence
of steps required to complete a task. Visual prompts
can be very useful in supporting organisational
skills.

Provide a laminated list for


students (where necessary) to
remind them of what they need to
take to/from school each day (e.g.
communication book, class reader,
hat, target spelling flashcards, etc).
A picture or text-based laminate
which outlines the weekly timetable
of special activities would be very
beneficial (e.g. Monday
swimming, Tuesday library day,
Thursday PE). Ideally, ask the
student to make this themselves,
drawing pictures for each subject
or object that they need to
remember they are more likely to
value it and use it if they have
made it themselves and
understand why.

Seating Arrangements

It is important to remember
that Dyslexic students are
not necessarily slower
learners, and so we need to
ensure that we do not
automatically seat them in
the low ability group for all
subjects, as this can lead to
poor self-esteem.
Additionally, we need to be
conscious that Dyslexic
students can struggle to
maintain focus, and filter out
distractions, and so we
should consider this when
developing our seating
plans.

Identify the Dyslexic students in


your class and check where they
are seated. Ensure that they are
close to the front, facing the
general direction of the teacher,
and are next to a sensible
student who can act as a study
buddy.
Liaise with specialist teachers
(e.g. Arabic, Islamic, Music) to
ensure that they have also
seated these children
appropriately.
Review your groupings for
different subjects. Is your
Dyslexic student in the lower
ability group across the board?
Is this necessary for every
subject?

Embrace Technology
Its the Future

For some students, writing can be laborious


and unrewarding, due to difficulties with
spelling and letter formation. For those
students, it may be worth considering
alternative modes of recording their ideas,
while simultaneously working to develop their
writing skills. Explore iPad apps such as
Dragon Dictate (a speech to text app), Puppet
Pals, or free downloadable software such as
Photo Story. Make a list of activities in which
these tools might be useful for differentiation.
Post your ideas in the discussion forum.
Allow children to use ICT (e.g. Simple Minds
app) to aid in story planning, to help them
create a clearly structured story map. For
another example, go to the following website
and generate a story map, summarising
Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/in
teractives/essaymap/

Have literacy software (e.g. All school laptops


are pre-loaded with Nessy software) open on
class laptops when students first arrive, so that
they can make efficient use of this time. Have
your Dyslexic students complete the Nessy
Challenge (or speak with their Learning Support
teacher), to identify some specific targets for
practice. Set up an account for them on the
class laptop.
Look at the Spellbot Lite app which is already
preloaded onto all school iPads. Make a list of
high frequency, or tricky words, which your
Dyslexic student continuously mis-spells. Preload these words onto their own Spellbot and
write a note to their parents to practice these at
least 3 times per week.

Explore resources in the ICT department (e.g. magic


microphones, recordable speech bubbles). Think of at least 2
different activities in which these resources can be used to
support your Dyslexic students participation in literacy tasks
(either for lesson input or student output). Post your ideas in
the discussion forum.

Where a students poor reading skills are negatively


impacting their enjoyment of stories and books, or their ability
to access certain learning materials, consider using a text-tospeech software such as Word Talk, which is free and easy
to use. It may be beneficial to ask the parents to support you
in developing a bank of audio resources for their child. Go to
this website and consider ways in which this software might
be useful to you and your students. Post your ideas in the
discussion forum.
http://www.wordtalk.org.uk/Home/

Classroom Environment

Have vocabulary and connectives mats readily available to all


students, as needed.
Display pictures to remind students of common writing errors
(e.g. letter reversals have bed displayed on the way,
alongside a picture).
Use word walls to display high frequency spellings, should a
student need to reference these. Change the spellings as
students spelling progresses.
Have headphones available for children who become
distracted by background noise during independent activities.
Encourage games for the Dyslexic student to play with friends
during spare time. It can boost their confidence when they are
showing their friends something new. Get them to make their
own games to play too.

Liaise with the students


Dyslexia support teacher to see
what spelling rules they are
currently working on. Have the
spelling rule posters available in
the classroom where the
student can discretely see them
as a visual clue.
Get to know the key words used
by the Dyslexia teachers and
students so that you can use
these words to prompt the
student. e.g. the long a sound
that you can hear is ai for rain
in the middle of a word, not ay
for day at the end of a word.

Browse for useful and creative resources on


teaching websites such as Twinkl (suitable
resources from EYFS to secondary),
FileFolderFun and Sparklebox.